Squarely aimed at new riders and, Kawasaki say, female riders, the new-for-2015 Vulcan S ABS is a refreshing offering for the cruiser segment of the market. Using the firm’s well-proven 649cc parallel-twin motor which usually resides in the ER range, mated to an all-new frame, suspension and bodywork, it’s clearly a cruiser, but without many of the aesthetic or engineering pitfalls.
The styling isn’t stereotypically Harley-aping – although it does have a hint of mini V-Rod – while the pegs have been mounted to be as narrow and high as possible, to allow for spirited cornering. There’s a good range of adjustment from the three-position footpegs and levers, while further accessory items (such as different bars) add to the rider-fit options. The under-belly exhaust prevents the age-old drag and lift problem with side-mounted pipes on cruisers, while the engine will be responsive without the brutality of a large V-twin, and the 705mm seat height should be welcomed by the vertically challenged.
Kawasaki say it’s intended for “new riders and female riders looking for a stylish, accommodating motorcycle”, but we think this will appeal to a lot or experienced riders too, looking for a lighter – physically and financially – route into a new cruiser.
It’s got ‘urban commuter’ written all over it.
The Vulcan S is well-priced at £5899, and is expected in dealers by Christmas.